Skip the tablecloths – wacky wedding placemats for the win! #Decor Porn#games#reception February 2 | Guest post by Liz The idea of spending money on tablecloths that are guaranteed to be stained with bbq sauce (to the tune of 120 bucks) made me angry and frustrated. How would I wash them? How could I throw them away? I didn't personally feel good about plastic ones in part because the way the plastic sounds — when it rubs against itself it's like fingernails on the chalkboard to me (heebiejeebies). So, after a festive jaunt to a local fast-food place, I had an epiphany. I don't need them! It's much easier to wash the tables themselves. Then another epiphany, while throwing away the refuse… paper placemats! So I got home and got to designing and have come up with these babies for our medieval-inspired ("Liz and Kevin are Weird and in Love" – themed) wedding dinner. It was really fun to work on this together and be giant kids. We plan to put them on the tables with some crayons for all our kids-at-heart to enjoy. And in case you all would like something similar, I'm listing the links for do-it-yourself game creations: Crossword Puzzle Word Search Maze Coloring Pages Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Liz Liz is a self described Pepsi addict who is marrying her sword-wielding urban viking (who probably inspired the "What's in YOUR wallet?" commercials) and uniting their love of pastries under one roof, living in sin. They're getting married on 1-1-11 with a Princess Bride tongue-in-cheek thread to the evening. http://offbeatbride.ning.com/profile/Liz52 PREVIOUS Christina & Marius' stellar trans-continental, Oslo to NYC, wedding celebration NEXT From travel to trash the dress, Brilliant Imagery Photography has got you covered Toggle comments [ 26 ] These are great! 1 agrees Reply I like! Reply This is great – I needed these links for the activity books for the children who will be in attendance at our ceremony! Reply That's spectacular! We're thinking of doing something similar, but with Mad Libs. We may have to expand it to include some of the stuff you have here – I love it all! Reply That is so cute!! Reply This is perfect!!!! I am totally using this idea! I was kicking around the idea of vinyl table clothes, with our theme sewed on, but I love these more! We are having a BBQ reception, this really is perfect and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it!! Reply OMG!!! THAT IS BY FAR THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN!!! EVER!!! We are having a BBQ Reception as well and I hope you don't mind but I'm totally high jacking your amazing idea of place mats because like I said they are super cool and me and my fiancee are total losers and big kids at heart so place mats are perfect! Reply I was appalled at the price for renting tablecloths too. If the tables themselves aren't in great shape, I thought I still might need them. So, I remembered that there is a hotel liquidation store in my area. I went to it tonight and found all the linens I'll need for my wedding (about 120 people) for $70! At that price, I can afford to get them laundered and pressed at a local cheapo dry cleaners! So, I'm recycling. I also know someone who is getting married in the fall, so I will see if she wants to do the same. Thanks for the links to the crossword puzzles and other games. I may use them! Reply That is an AMAZING idea! So original and fun, too. Brilliant, and thanks for sharing! Reply I feel so stupid asking this, but did you make these in Word?? LOL I started playing around with the idea and I'm having a heck of a time trying to make them look cool! Any tips you could give us wanna be's?! Thank you!!!! Reply You make me want to have tables! We're doing a picnic-blanket wedding, but this idea is so wicked awesome that I may have to find a way to work it into our wedding somewhere- maybe in one of the pre-event dinners or parties. Thanks for sharing the great links! Reply LOVE. A LOT. Thanks for the links to the game generators, too! WOOT! Reply Good Question Carren! If you're using Word, Publisher, or Photoshop, basically I did an 11 x 17 landscape, and I set the margins close but not to the edge. Then I would also recommend using the Help to set your background of pieces to transparent, so they don't overlap each other. Also, use WordArt for the little titles, and set images to "In Front of text" to make them easier to move around. If you have any other questions, let me know! I'm happy to help. Reply Liz, thank you for the tips! I'm going to try again tonight. I do have one more question (for now!), the word search, how did you manage to get it from the site to your placemat. I know it lets you "save as" but I don't know how to get it onto the placemat! It's funny how you think you are a computer genius until you try to do something uber creative on it! lol I totally think you should go in business making these by the way! I have been telling everyone about them! I mean, I know you can go to a restaurant and see them, but I never once thought to use them until you posted this! Freaking amazing! Thank you again for the tips and help and for sharing this wonderful idea! Reply I cheated a bit – I took a screenshot, using PrintScreen button, then opened it in Paint and cut it down to size, saving it as a jpg. I also actually cropped it into pieces to stack it vertically – since I didn't want it to take up as much room as it was when it was generated. Just make sure you give people enough room to use it! My first try had all the boxes and lines way too small – and I really want guests to use them, with crayons when possible Reply PERFECT!!! I'm sooo excited!!! Thank you! I can't say that enough!!! Reply Hi Liz, How did you do your maze into letters? 1 agrees Reply Thats a really good question Carren!!! Me and the fiance love this idea and really want to have paper place mats symbolize our wedding and who we are… total geeks, losers [in a good way] and big kids. Our only concern is how everyone else, especially the older guest will react to them. Reply The Crayola website also has a bunch of coloring and activity pages in a variety of styles and topics. http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/ Reply I love this idea. Since I'm thinking about doing a game-themed reception anyway, this would be a very cool touch. Reply I. Love. These. Placemats. That is all. Reply These are amazing! I love them. Reply I think you should consider cutting out the shields and scrap book them!!! sort of like a guest book. People can then write, draw, or do both to wish you a happy marriage. And instead of having to recycle or throw out the mat, you have a really awesome guest book! 1 agrees Reply These are so incredible! Consider your wonderful idea respectfully borrowed. Did you print them on a normal printer, or did you go somewhere to get them printed off? Reply Or you could just cover the tables with butcher paper and have lots of markers/crayons for people to draw or write whatever they want. You can take pictures or save their creations and recycle the paper afterwards. 2 agree Reply What a fab idea! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.